I spent most of my life working hard. I was never the smartest guy. I was never the most talented guy. About the age of 18 I discovered that what I lacked in intelligence and talent could be compensated for with hard work. I liked the feeling of hard work. It gave me value. It was almost addictive. Actually there was nothing almost about it; Hard work was addictive.
I got degrees, four of them to be exact. After my third degree, I found myself pastoring a church with an average attendance of 56 people. Nothing hard work couldn’t fix. I began knocking on doors and the church began to grow. After 3.5 years another, a bigger church came calling on the other side of the state. I relocated my little family, and began the theme of hard work again. I started working on my fourth degree while pastoring the church. I was burning the candle at both ends. After seven years, I came home one Sunday night, sat down at the dining room table and wept. My wife asked me what was wrong and all I could say was, “I didn’t know.”
I took my breakdown as a sign that I needed a new ministry location. God opened a door and our little family moved to Choctaw Road Baptist Church. I finished my degree and continued to work hard. The church grew. We added staff and built buildings. Things seemed to be going perfect and then the wheels fell off my life.
It was May 30th, 2005. My family was celebrating Memorial Day together by playing ball in the backyard. My wife ran across the yard and collapsed. She died that day as I held her in my arms. All of a sudden all of my hard work didn’t matter.
I missed my wife. I could not believe I had spent all that time working, when I could have been spending it with her. I thought she would always be there. The next few months I spent adjusting to washing clothes and cooking meals for three children. I had no idea how to run a home. I had taken my wife for granted and now she was gone.
I made a tough realization about myself in 2005. I believed that God had created me for hard work. I was wrong. God created me for a relationship with Him and with others. I began to discover that the quality of my relationships determined the quality of my life, not success, not prosperity, not power. I spent 45 years of my life chasing a lie. The last 9 years of my life have been a learning experience.
I am excited to be part of Rewired 2016. I will be teaching a breakout session entitled It’s All About Relationships. Join me as we learn the eternal truth that life is only as good as our relationships!